Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Paris is always a good idea" 
-Audrey Hepburn

Although I have always been interested in spaces and design (I thank my mom for this passion... this is what happens, I suppose, when your mom and you spend hours measuring furniture and flipping through Architectural Digest at age 10), I know that my interest in design was greatly spurred on by the trips I have been blessed to take.  Perhaps the greatest "trip" of my life thus far was my semester abroad last Fall.  I cannot put into the words the infinite joy and excitement of my time abroad.  Living in the U.K. it wasn't long before I felt at home there.  I was drawn to the history of the buildings, the streets, and the cities of the U.K.  I believe I loved it so dearly because it constantly perked my passion for design.  The buildings there are intentional, and full of history.  Each cathedral, courtyard, facade, wall, and cobble stone street tells the story of a past and encourages the growth of a future.  

Being abroad afforded me the chance to break from the normal rhythm of my day to day in the States.  Removed from all things and people familiar, I was given the freedom to really see surroundings- to marvel at the very place I stood.  I surely will speak more about my time abroad on this blog because it is such a large part of why I love design.  But for now, simply put, travel emphasizes the principles of design I love the most- the history, the people, the lives.  I love design because design is more than the materials that surround us. I would argue that it is much, much more.  It is the spaces we inhabit that help to shape who we are.  The spaces we exist--whether it be the room, building, city, country-- they are a part of us.  Even if we are unaware, the spaces we live are constantly reflecting on us and we are reflecting on them.  In this way, by exploring the designs of foreign countries and previous times, we can actually come to know or at least begin to understand another group of people. 

I have been thinking a lot about traveling lately because two of my dearest friends and I are amidst planning a trip abroad.  While we've been in the planning process, I can't help to reminisce every chance I get (yes, I am that annoying person).  However, I am beyond thrilled at the prospect of traveling with them.  One place that is high on all our lists is Paris.  When in Paris last Fall, I fell in love with one aspect of Paris-- the doors.  They are magnificent. These large, beautiful doors line the streets of Paris particularly in the Saint Germain district. I think these doors contribute to the magical and mysterious feeling of Paris.  Paris flaunts its beauty but does not let us know the whole truth-- such as the beautiful courtyards and buildings that lie behind these doors.  As a design, I love that these doors look like a home's front door but most actually lead into a courtyard or open-air foyer from which you can proceed to your final indoor destination.  I love this concept. I hope someday I will be able to incorporate a similar principle into my own designs.  For now, i'll settle on seeing them from the outside as I walk the streets of Paris with my best friends ..... believe me, I am not complaining. 

The two best travel partners a girl could have: 

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